So you have just been offered a job and your prospective employer has asked that you sign an employment contract before you start. Should you have it reviewed by a lawyer first?
The language used in most employment contracts takes away your legal rights. A lawyer can explain which rights you are giving up under a contract and can suggest changes to the contract that benefit you.
Here are three common clauses that are found in employment contracts:
If an employer terminates your employment shortly after luring you from secure employment, then you may be entitled to significant termination pay based on your length of service with your former employer, UNLESS, the employment contract that you signed has a probationary clause. This clause often allows the employer to terminate your employment with little or no notice during a probationary period.
Full-time and Attention
This kind of clause provides that you must devote your full-time and attention to the employer. Many of us have commitments or interests outside of work that may result in a violation of this kind of term of employment. If so, you may want to suggest an amendment to this clause which permits you to continue a specified outside interest.
Most employment contracts contain a termination clause which takes away your right to reasonable notice of termination. This will result in you receiving much less termination pay than you would otherwise receive.
Let’s say you earn $ 52,000 a year and you are terminated after 12 years of service. A small employer can limit your rights on termination to 8 weeks pay (or $ 8,000) with a properly drafted termination clause whereas without this clause you could be entitled to up to 12 months pay (or $ 52,000)
Most employment contracts contain more than a dozen clauses and many of these clauses are drafted to benefit the employer; not you.
Spending an hour with an employment lawyer reviewing each term of an offer of employment will ensure that you know the legal implications of each clause in the contract and may lead to changes to the offer that benefit you. If you have an employment contract that you would like reviewed, a lawyer at MacLeod Law Firm would be happy to assist you.
We have been advising Ontario employees for 30 years. We only practice workplace law so “All We Do Is WORK!” We have experience assisting employees from all walks of life. From people in entry level positions to senior executives in the private and public sectors. We...read more
Just cause terminations are considered the capital punishment of employment law by some judges. A just cause termination is the worst possible outcome for an employee because it not only means that you will not receive termination pay but generally you will also be...read more
We have reviewed thousands of severance packages. If your employment has recently been terminated and you have been provided with a severance package, then read on. Time Limit to Accept Package Most employers give an employee 5 to 7 days to accept a severance package....read more